Even though the Toronto Raptors didn’t get the most value out of Aron Baynes in his season-long stint with the team, he can still hang his hat on an excellent career when he decides to retire. In a shocking twist of fate, that career almost met an abrupt and tragic end over the last few months.
When Baynes was playing for his native Australia in Olympic play against Italy, he suffered an injury after a bathroom fall. Baynes was unable to feel his limbs, and he was found to have internal bleeding near his spine. His ability to live an everyday life was in jeopardy.
Baynes spent the last few months trying to relearn how to walk and make one of the most insane comebacks we’ve ever seen. Baynes is determined to not only be as physically active as the average citizen, but to show he is still good enough to play in the NBA.
Baynes worked out in Las Vegas for a group of NBA GMs in town for Summer League action. While an NBA return may seem unlikely, there are certainly worse ways to build a team than signing a veteran with Baynes’ degree of championship experience.
Former Toronto Raptors center Aron Baynes is making a comeback.
Baynes averaged 6.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game with Toronto in 2020-21, though he was one of many players that never found his footing in Tampa. He’s one of a handful of Raptors who never played a home game in Toronto, which likely contributed to his disappointing performance.
The fact that Baynes is even walking, let alone moving well enough to potentially work his way into professional basketball is nothing short of a miracle. Baynes could provide veteran leadership at the back end of a bench, even if some of his scoring skill has eroded due to age and injury.
At his best, Baynes was a contributor to some solid Celtics teams before showing he can be a double-digit per game scorer with the Suns. Toronto was the wrong place at the wrong time for him, but that doesn’t mean he is totally bereft of talent that could help a contender.
Even though the Raptors may not have the capacity needed to bring Baynes back, seeing him land with another team would be a sight to behold. Raptors fans should get behind the Aussie big as he tries to show everyone what he’s made of.